Berlin, Oct 25 (EFE).- Germany’s president on Tuesday made his first trip to Ukraine since the start of the Russian invasion as he sought to express his solidarity with the nation and witness first-hand the destruction caused by Moscow’s hostilities.
Frank-Walter Steinmeier is due to meet with Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskyy later in the day. Germany’s chancellor, Olaf Scholz, visited Ukraine in June this year.
“It is important to me to send a message of solidarity to Ukrainians right now, in a period of vile Russian aerial attacks across the country” Steinmeier said upon his arrival in the Ukrainian capital, according to a statement from the German presidency.
Before meeting with Ukraine’s leader, the German head of state is to make a trip to the town of Koryukivka, located near the Belarusian border in the Chernihiv region, north of Kyiv.
The town was occupied by Russian forces in the early stages of the invasion, and is struggling to repair infrastructure and unblock supplies ahead of the winter period, the presidential statement added.
Steinmeier last visited Koryukivka in October 2021, when he expressed his desire to twin it with a German town.
“If we look through the eyes of the Ukrainians for a moment, then we know that they need our full solidarity and support – as long as it is necessary,” he said, adding that Germany would continue to provide “military, political, financial and humanitarian” support to Ukraine.
Steinmeier’s scheduled visit to Ukraine last week was canceled due to security concerns after Russia escalated its bombing and drone strike campaign across the nation, including in the capital.
The trip had been planned for weeks in response to an invitation from Zelenskyy, who in April had declined to extend the offer to the German president over his alleged ties to Russia. EFE